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MP Writes to Boots the Chemist Requesting It Reverses Closure Decision

Published on: 3 Nov, 2023
Updated on: 3 Nov, 2023

Angela Richardson MP

By Martin Giles

Guildford’s MP Angela Richardson has stepped in to support concerned residents in Merrow and Burpham who are worried about the impact of the expected closure of their local pharmacy.

She has asked Boots to reverse its decision.

In a letter to Sebastian James, senior vice president and managing director at Britain’s best-known chemist, now a global company, Ms Richardson says: “I have been inundated with messages from residents of the Burpham and Merrow area who have raised their concerns about the proposed closure.”

Boots Pharmacy, Merrow Park – Google Street View

Her letter follows a letter to The Dragon from reader Frank Phillipson. He was told directly that the pharmacy would stop taking new prescriptions from the end of November and close completely in January, also that staff at the GPs’ surgery opposite knew nothing of the timings.

See: Merrow and Burpham Will Be Left with No Local Pharmacy Services

He wrote: “If this goes ahead, Merrow and Burpham will be left with no local pharmacy services at a time when their services are needed more than ever. The government message to consult a pharmacist to relieve pressure on doctors (if you can get to see one) seems very cynical.”

The Dragon forwarded Mr Phillipson’s letter to the Guildford MP requesting a response and this morning she sent a copy of her letter to Boots.

In her letter (see below), Angela Richardson says: “The closure would mean only one Boots pharmacy will remain open in the Merrow and Burpham area, in Epsom Road (GU1 2RE). Residents have written to me to express that, even before the closure occurs, other pharmacies in Guildford are experiencing challenges.

“Considering the importance of the pharmacy to those in the area and the concerning consequences that its closure could have on other services in Guildford, I would be grateful if you could please reconsider the impact of its closure on the people of Burpham and Merrow. I am therefore asking you to reverse the decision to close the Merrow Park Boots pharmacy.”

Boots has been invited to comment.

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Responses to MP Writes to Boots the Chemist Requesting It Reverses Closure Decision

  1. Mark Stamp Reply

    November 3, 2023 at 7:30 pm

    The government’s strategy for easing pressure on GPs and A&E relies on community pharmacists taking some of that load. I have little knowledge of the healthcare sector but this does seem sensible as long as the right tasks are delegated.

    The problem seems to be that this relies on the private sector providing the services which they will only do if they see a profit. If an MP can only write a letter to politely ask a major company to reverse a decision rather than offer any genuine support, then this strategy is doomed to fail.

  2. Ian Blyth Reply

    January 17, 2024 at 1:25 pm

    Hold until article published

    Sadly, the intervention from Angela had no effect, and the Merrow Park pharmacy is now closed.

    This, following the recent closure of the Sainsbury’s pharmacy, leaves us with one chemist to service a huge residential area. The shop is tiny, and on my two recent visits, the queues have been out of the door, with waits of up to 45 minutes on both occasions.

    The staff are marvellous, but clearly under pressure, and whilst the customers that I shared the queues with were patient, and understanding, I am sure that this won’t always be the case.

    Was there a response from Boots, are there any plans to open a new pharmacy, perhaps Angela and our local council representatives have an answer?

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